The various unjust discriminations (racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc.) that plague society are tied to the larger question of how human lives and minds are regarded in society as a whole. Humans have always had a problem of mismeasuring the “other,” but this problem is compounded by promotion, from powerful voices, of the view that humans are just so much physics and chemistry, that the mind is the brain, and that humans are deluded about the power of consciousness and freedom. Daniel Dennett refers to the latter as “the contemporary orthodoxy,” as though it is the view of humanity that all educated people should take for granted (many do). On the other hand, there has been something of a growing flood of protests against this “orthodoxy,” and it is by no means coming only from theologians. This article will review some studies that protest what they see as the mismeasuring of humanity, and will aim to show that such re-evaluation is essential as an aspect of the battle not only against racism and sexism, but also for our amazing capacities for love, justice, and peace.
Smiles, Vincent M.
"Mismeasuring Humanity: Dangers of "The Contemporary Orthodoxy","
Vol. 29, 4-22.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/headwaters/vol29/iss1/2